Delta Shoes is an athletic footwear company that began its operations 10 years ago. The company has its headquarters in the city of Dubai, but it operates in the global market. Its revenues in its tenth year of operation were impressive and the credit ratings are very good. It means that the company is making impressive progress in this highly competitive business environment. The biggest challenge that this firm now has to deal with is to maintain the impressive growth in its operations as a way of enhancing its sustainability.
The decision to go global has its benefits and challenges. The global market offers this firm a huge opportunity for growth. However, it exposes it to market forces in these foreign markets that may affect its operations.
The decision to use online operations in its global market is one way of avoiding the negative forces in these foreign markets. It means that this firm will not have to put up brick-and-mortar stores in different countries around the world. International customers can visit the firm’s website irrespective of their locations, choose the desired products, state the quantity needed, and make payments on online platforms. Once the product is purchased, it will be shipped to the customer’s desired destination.
It means that this company will have to embrace online operations and come up with strategies that will help in meeting the expectations of its global customers in the best way possible. This paper focuses on determining the models that can help new managers to identify opportunities to create the added value for this firm using IT. The following question will guide the process of data collection:
What theoretical and analytical models help managers identify opportunities to create added value with IT?
In its global operations, Delta Shoes will use its website to reach out to its clients. Customers must be able to view the quality of the product in the website and what is promised must be what is finally delivered to the customers. In this section, it is necessary to look at how this website will be designed in a way that is capable of meeting the expectations of the firm and clients.
Internet business model of the website
The internet business model that this company has chosen will enable it to operate in the global market without making heavy investments in markets outside the United Arab Emirates. The model chosen has been tested by the firm within the last two years and it has proven functional. Without any brick-and-mortar stores in these foreign countries, customers will fully rely on the website to shop for what they want and make their purchases without any physical interactions with the employees of the firm. Payments are also made through the online platform before the products can be delivered to the customers.
The website will act as the store where customer can see what they are purchasing. McGrath says that in such a model, there must be enough images of the product from all possible angles and the description of the product must be as detailed as possible (78).
Functionalities of the website
As mentioned above, the website will be the store that customers will be visiting to choose the product they want to purchase. As such, its functionalities will define its effectiveness as an online store. The website must allow customers to view the product they want to purchase and determine the quality. It means that for every product, there must be images accompanied by explanation of the characteristics and functionalities of the product.
It should also make it possible for customers to engage the staff in case they need clarification about the product. Absence of the physical presence of the stores means that this company will need employees who can interact with the clients on online platforms. These employees must be capable of answering the questions of the customers in order to clarify issues that are not clear. The communication can be through direct phone calls or online chats. The website must also make it easy for the customers to make their online payments in secure and less cumbersome manner without straining.
User-friendliness of the website
The website must be user friendly to ensure that customers find it easy to use it. It must be easy to navigate and customers should be easily led to the products they desire. Just like in brick-and-mortar stores, the website must have products clearly arranged based on their categories. A person looking for football footwear for a ten-year old child should be easily directed once in the website. It means that the products must be arranged based on their purpose, age of the target market, quality, and any other characteristic that is relevant to the users.
Global Online Operations
Operating in the global market will require Delta Shoes to understand the markets in which it will be operating and to come up with strategies that will enable it achieve the desired outcome in the market. The following are some of the factors that the new management will put into consideration in its global online operations.
The first and very important factor is the pricing strategy. This company will need to set prices for its products in a way that will attract its global customers while at the same time earn it profits in the market. According to Feller, for a firm that is operating in a global online market, its pricing strategy must be made in a way that is suitable for different customers in different parts of the country (90).
A firm cannot charge different prices for specific products based on the purchasing power of the targeted customers in different parts of the world. As such, it becomes necessary to have different categories of products charged different prices to attract a wide range of customers. The products’ prices will be in dollars given that the firm will be operating globally. The price will range from $ 7 for the cheapest product to $ 120 for the most expensive Delta Shoes sportswear.
Number of models
As mentioned above, the firm will offer a wide range of products, in different designs based on the emerging demands in the market. The models will be based on the current popular culture. As Hyder notes, the Western culture remains very influential around the world and our company will be keen to develop designs in line with the culture that is popular in the global market (73). The table below shows some of the styles currently available in our stores.
Having a wide range of products at varying prices makes it possible to attract a wide base of customers. The firm will have products that are styled to meet the needs of minors aged below ten years, products for the teenagers, young adults, the middle aged population, and the elderly.
Styling and quality
The quality for the different products that this company is manufacturing must meet their purpose. Different sports require different types and nature of shoes. Physically demanding sports such as football and rugby require shoes designed to withstand the strain expected during the game. They must be designed differently from that meant for other sports such as golf which is less physically demanding. Below is a sample of football shoes that this company offers in the market.
The above figure shows the strength and unique nature of the shoe meant for football players. Quality will be given preference as a way of ensuring that this company’s products remain superior to others in the market.
According to Bowen and Ozuem, celebrity endorsement is increasingly becoming one of the most important marketing strategies in the modern society (78). The fact that a certain celebrity associates with a given brand gives it unique appeal in the market. Among football lovers, Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo are currently some of the top footballers in the world. If any of them can endorse our product, then the quality of our products will be associated with the quality of the game of these great footballers. It is important to settle for popular celebrities who are known all over the world because the product will be offered globally.
Athletes such as Usain Bolt, Tiger Woods, Raphael Nadal, and Serena Williams are some of the athletes that this firm should look for their endorsements. They are known for the quality of their game and they are liked by many people. Their endorsement will not only elevate the firm’s brand but it will also increase the sales volume.
The time taken to deliver products to the customers once they make payments is critical in determining their level of satisfaction. For our customers within the city of Dubai, it will take less than 6 hours for their products to be delivered to them once they make payments. For the in other parts of the United Arab Emirates, it will take 24 hours or less based on their geographic location from our regional stores. Our customers in other parts of the world will direct this company on the best international courier they prefer to deliver their products. We will deliver the product to the selected courier within 12 hours. We will always strive to be efficient in ensuring that customers get their products within the shortest time possible.
Delta Shoes will not charge transport costs within the country. It means that our local customers within the United Arab Emirates will only pay for the cost of the product. However, our international customers will pay for the shipping costs. We will deliver the products to the premises of the preferred courier at no cost. However, all the costs associated with moving the product from the port to the stated destination will be paid by the customers. However, our company will help the customers identify cheapest and most efficient couriers.
It is important for my management to come up with a brand slogan that the company will use. The slogan that it has been using for the last 10 years is not bad, but a time has come for the firm to embrace change. The following will be the most appropriate slogan as it starts its eleventh year of operations.
We are you
The slogan is short, memorable, and passes a very strong message to the customers. It shows that this company is strongly committed to meeting the needs of its customers in the market and that our success is tied to the happiness of our clients.
At this stage, it is important to come up with an IS/IT strategy that my co-managers and I will use in the global market as our company embraces operations in the global online market. We need to come up with strategies that will be used to reach out to the customers and deal with the challenges that we shall be facing. According to Zhu, coming up with an effective IS strategy defines how well the firm is capable of achieving success despite the stiff competition that is expected from the rival companies (34).
Social media promotion
Promotion is one of the most important aspects of marketing because it not only helps in strengthening the brand but it also creates awareness about the products and the value they deliver. In our social media promotion, we will use three main platforms. Facebook marketing will be the first and most important platform that we will use in our global online operations. We will identify major cities around the world where we have a large target market. We will then use Facebook to promote our products by informing our customers about the uniqueness of the products, the price, and how to make the purchases. I intend to introduce the use of Facebook tracking pixel to ensure that we maintain close interaction with our Facebook customers.
YouTube will be another important platform that we will use to promote our products and the brand. I will work closely with the marketing director to ensure that an effective commercial is developed. We will bring in our celebrity to help pass the message to the customers. If we manage to get Christiano Ronaldo to endorse our product, then a short video clip will be made where he works his magic with the ball wearing our shoes. At the end of the clip, he will hold the shoe in his hand clearly showing the logo and say, “We are you.” Twitter marketing will be the third option that we shall use to promote the brand and products of Delta Shoes. These three social media platforms will help promote the product in the market.
The biggest threat that my co-managers and I expect in the market is stiff competition from the rival firms. I intend to engage all the departmental heads in managing this serious threat. Every department will have its distinct role in ensuring that we manage this stiff competition. The supplies department will work closely with the logistics department to ensure that quality raw materials are sourced for and delivered to the production plants within the right time.
The marketing department will work closely with the production department to ensure that there is a clear understanding of what the customers expect and the demand. With this message, the production department will develop high quality footwear that meets the changing needs of customers. The marketing department will ensure that it organizes proper promotional campaigns within the targeted markets. The department will also ensure that products reach clients within the right time.
Customer complaints and inquiries will also be handled by the department to eliminate post-purchase dissonance. This interdepartmental approach is expected to create a pool of loyal customers for this firm. Being flexible will also enable the firm to fight threats posed by changing environmental forces.
Taking advantage of opportunities
The global market has a huge opportunity that Delta Shoes must take advantage of as it starts its eleventh year of operations. Growth opportunities in the global market can only be tapped by maintaining effective promotional campaigns using the right platforms and continuing to offer high quality products at reasonable prices. The firm can also consider sponsoring popular sports as a way of making its brand more conspicuous in the market than the brand of the rival products.
Football is growing in popularity in Middle East and Africa. This company should consider tapping into these two markets which have always been ignored by large global competitors such as Adidas, Puma, and Nike. Creating a pool of loyal customers in these emerging markets will create a unique opportunity for sustainable growth for our company. We also intend to use acquisition as a strategy to achieve growth. We will purchase the struggling firms if we establish that doing so will create sustainable growth opportunities.
How IS might be used to provide a winning position
The information system strategy that we will use must help to provide a winning position for this firm. Information is power and I intend to gather the right information that will enable my co-managers and I to make the right decisions in the market (Schoja 112). We will collect data on online visitors to determine what they are always looking for when they go online so that we can know how best to reach them without promotional campaigns.
Knowing the needs of these online visitors will help us come up with promotional message which is tied to what they look for on the online platform. For instance, if we establish that specific people are concerned with their health, we will remind them that Delta Shoes enables them to walk in the right posture and protects their back if used for non-athletic purposes. When their concern is about keeping fit by shedding off some weight, the message that will be passed to them is that Delta Shoes is a perfect pair of shoes that can be used in the gym and during roadwork. For those concerned with their beauty, the production will be positioned as one that brings out the elegance in the wearer. This approach will help this firm gain a winning strategy because the message will be developed based on the primary concern of specific customers.
Delta Shoes is one of the top athletic footwear companies in the United Arab Emirates. The firm faces stiff competition in the market as it takes its operations into global online market. Its sustainability in the market will now be determined by its ability to use IS strategy to gain competitive edge over its market rivals. Its online operations must be sustainable. It must take advantage of the opportunities in the market while at the same time dealing with threats that may affect its operations.
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